Life happens. Lots of life happens. And sometimes life happens all at once. We can't always prepare for life's disasters. But we can be prepared to deal with the financial fallout the best we can.
Saving for a rainy day is crucial. It's vital. Do it now.
It was a scorching summer day in 2013. Our second son, Isaac, had been born just a few weeks earlier. I put my kids in the car to take my oldest son to preschool when I was hit with the realization that my AC was broken.
So there I was, in the middle of June with a newborn baby, a 19-month-old and no air conditioner. Oh, and we live in south Alabama where we have 94 degree summer days with 98 percent humidity. It was hot.
And there I stood in the office of my mechanic as he told me that my AC needed fixing. He quoted me a price and he waited for my response. He winced. I swear, y'all. He winced.
I watched as he smiled and braced himself for my reaction. He was used to telling people how expensive things like auto repair are. And he was used to getting an animated response.
I nodded my head, opened my wallet and handed him my debit card.
You see, my husband and I had saved for a rainy day. Our rainy day fund wasn't huge. It wasn't enough to live off of, but it was there in case we needed it and we did. It was there for those little emergencies.
Having just an extra $1,000 in the bank gave us room to breath, room to maneuver our way to our goal of being debt free. It gave us the space to relax, pull out our umbrella and wait for the rainbow after the storm.
Cars break down. Kids fall out of trees and break their arms. Tires go flat. Refrigerators die. This is life. Life happens. And some days a lot of life happens all at once.
We didn't compile that extra money in one day. It happened every time I save a few dollars on groceries, every time I sold an item on eBay, every time I scored a new freelance job or a bill was lower than expected. I urge you to save those dollars and cents as fast as you can. But don't get discouraged when you can't save it all overnight. One day at a time, one dollar at a time.
Commit to saving just $5 on your groceries this week and putting that money in a jar. Place your old DVDs, books and handbags up for sale or clean out your kid's closet for unused clothes.